This past week has been intense to say the least. From being confined to home, fear of getting sick, and this new concept of E-learning it is a tad overwhelming. However, you are not alone! Everyone is trying to adjust to the new normal.
There is no manual for how to navigate a pandemic. This is uncharted water for teachers and parents alike. With developing guidelines and daily procedural changes we have had to adapt. However, the special education community are pros at adapting!
E – Learning
E- learning or distance learning, is nowhere near a substitute for what goes on in classrooms on a daily basis. Teachers across the world scrambled to condense two weeks of learning into printable packets or google classrooms with no set instructions. We are fully aware this is not ideal nor is it easy. These instructional materials and activities are met to help maintain student skills not introduce new content. As a parent look at the positives. You get to spend more time with your kiddos and see what they can do! I have had so many parents tell me they did not know their child was capable of doing a skill because in reality they never had practice it home. This has been an eye-opening experience for many of you to realize how important the home to school connection is!
So what does E-learning look like?
Every teacher and class is going to look different. Again, remember teachers were given a moments notice to develop lessons. Do not scrutinize what your child’s teacher or school district is doing in comparison to others.Everyone is trying their best. Therefor, my distance learning classroom may look completely different than someone else.
In my classroom I have provided parents with flexible daily activities in the area of fine motor, gross motor, speech, math, social emotional, adaptive and literacy. My favorite activities are the cooking ones. This is an AMAZING way to incorporate all skills into one activity! Printable worksheets related to our curriculum units (Read it Once Again) and Focus wall number’s and letters (Creative Curriculum) are encouraged but not required. Lesson plans are written to be done with an adult. Many students will require hand over hand, multiple prompts, or hand over hand support.
In addition to the lessons plans, I wanted to create something more personal and routine for my kiddos. The best way I could think to do that is through morning circle. I created a morning circle video for my kiddos using the same materials we use in the classroom. The video gives cues for students to engage using their AAC device or by asking/talking to a grown up in inquire information i.e. asking what day of the week it is. I also recorded read aloud of familiar classroom stories while modeling AAC. Click HERE for one of our read alouds.!
Tips & Tricks
- Create an at home visual schedule. Keeping things consistent and expectations known will help ease anxiety and decrease non-compliance behaviors. You can use the Choice Works App or create ones like seen below.
- Use page protectors and dry erase markers/crayons to reuse worksheets over and over again
- Don’t overthink it! Lots of games and activities can be turned into learning experiences. Simply by making kids request or take turns you’ve added speech and social skills! Folding laundry? Have students unzip and button garments and you’ve got your adaptive skill practice for the day.
- Know your learner’s motivation. The home environment is less structured and more relaxed than the classroom. There is going to be push back with new demands being put on our little ones. Implement a positive reward or first/ then system (both can be found in my TPT store).
- Be positive! There is no wrong way to do e-learning. Lean into works best for your children, family, and mental health.
Learners in Action!
Check out out my friends learning at home!!!